Small Things Considered

By cjohnson | May 4, 2006 1:41 am

On NPR’s All Things Considered today, David Kestenbaum did a lovely story on the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation (MINOS) neutrino experiment. Just to remind you (from MINOS website):

The MINOS Experiment is a long-baseline neutrino experiment designed to observe the phenomena of neutrino oscillations, an effect which is related to neutrino mass. MINOS uses two detectors, one located at Fermilab, at the source of the neutrinos, and the other located 450 miles away, in northern Minnesota, at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park in Tower-Soudan.

See the MINOS website for more information. Sean did a post about it here, Andrew Jaffe here, and Jacques Distler here. I thought that the radio segment was rather good, and informative for the non-physicist. Have a listen. You can look at lots of information and other links on the NPR site here, and click the “listen” button for the radio piece. I very much like the tongue-in-cheek and rather self-aware editing in places. For example, when he’s talking about the neutrinos shooting down the beampipe (or some such action), there’s some realy corny special effects whizzing noises. Kestenbaum says, almost apologetically (as though he had an argument with a senior producer about putting this sound in, and lost), “That’s not the real sound” (but maybe there’s a hint of a smile in his voice, maybe?)

Overall, I thought that for a short piece on All Things Considered -primetime in the afternoon commute- they did a good job on the story.


  • boreds

    Hmmm, well done NPR. Has BBC R4 broadcast a programme on the LHC, yet?

  • Clifford

    Almost certainly. But I don’t know of one specifically. I think one of the “In Our Time” programs I mentioned here in the past had a bit about the LHC…but I cannot recall. Perhaps you can search the BBC’s website.


  • Stephen

    Great PR piece! I’ll be starting work on MINOS this summer, and it’s an exciting time to hop on board. Coincidentally, I had lunch with Georgio Gratta just a few weeks ago at the College of William and Mary.

  • spyder

    The US Senate voted to spend $109 billion today on more war, some Katrina cleanup, and some on pet projects, including a $700 million relocation of some railroad tracks in the South. Just imagine the amazing science that could come out of using just one one-hundredth of that supplemental allocation. Boggles the mind.

  • Cynthia

    Just a childish thought: If the human species was as weakly interacting as the class of elusive neutrinos, human would have to devise a unique form of unconventional warfare to completely destroy their fellow opponents. Because of the mysterious nature of neutrino oscillation, it appears the most damage a neutrino could do to its enemy neutrino would be to perform metamorphosis upon this enemy neutrino. Moreover, if beta radioactivity (decay) is simply a friendly sort of weapon to the neutrino, then I cannot even image a weapon type that would be totally inhospitable to the neutrino. Oddly enough, neutrinos appear to exist in a real-life-version of a child’s imaginary game.


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